Milwaukee small event planning guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Oct. 8, 2008 at 2:27 p.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, special features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food. Bon appetit!
The Milwaukee experts at OnMilwaukee.com get many questions. A few that come almost weekly are, "Where can I book a group gathering in Milwaukee?" and "I need a semi-private room at a restaurant or bar for a party, do you have any suggestions?"
It seems we're always searching for places to party. And, why shouldn't we? If the task of planning a gathering at a local bar or restaurant falls upon you, where would you go to book that party for 20, 40 or even 80 to 100 of your closest friends?
Whether your event is a cocktail party, meeting, rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, holiday dinner or reception -- many places in town can meet your needs, some for free others with a rental fee.
This guide is not exhaustive, but we've targeted some of our favorite restaurants and bars to begin. Please use the talkback or blog features to tell us about some of your favorite party room destinations.
925 E. Wells St., (414) 765-1166
Bacchus takes your party and makes it a stylish, upper crust affair. Unique private dining rooms, an outdoor patio and a glass-enclosed conservatory are all fine party locales.
1114 N. Water St., (414) 847-1492
It's all about the patio at Bar Louie, but don't forget that there's a front room too that can be used/rented for larger groups. Call them and Bar Louie will meet your needs by arranging tables and areas for your group.
1019 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 224-8500
The northern half of Buck Bradley's second floor features the sports bar and has two pool tables, numerous dartboards and large TVs to view your favorite Wisconsin team / event. This second floor also includes three parlor (banquet) rooms that can accommodate groups of 30-350.
181 N. Broadway, (414) 225-9800
Cuvee, a new champagne celebration lounge, was built as a party destination. Contact them for rental rates.
411 E. Mason St., (414) 272-1937
With private event spaces for up to 125 guests, Hotel Metro is a truly unique venue in Downtown Milwaukee. Whether you need to schedule a wedding, intimate board meeting or a dinner banquet, the expert staff has you covered.
708 N. Milwaukee St., (414) 390-WINE
Focusing on a lush wine list and complimentary plates of food, Indulge opened on Milwaukee Street earlier this year with the precise intention of serving your party or special occasion. Whether you're looking to rent out the entire space or reserve any number of "tasting tables", the sommelier can help create custom menus.
Mason Street Grill
425 E. Mason St., (414) 298-3131
From intimate parties of eight to functions of up to 70, Mason Street Grill's three private dining rooms offer flexible space for groups of all sizes.
Milwaukee Ale House
233 N. Water St., (414) 226-2337
Fresh beer on the river and plenty of room make the Ale House a nice group gathering spot. There's a smaller dining room area and a cozy "cellar," too.
Milwaukee Chop House
633 N. 5th St., (414) 390-4562
The back room is private and perfect for up to 20. Stop at the Miller Time Pub, next door, before or after.
Milwaukee Public Market
400 N. Water St., (414) 336-1111
Cool space, for sure. The Market can provide you or your organization with several customized options, from a hands-on cooking class allowing participants to chop along with the chef or a team-building event structured as a scavenger hunt. Or, just rent out its upstairs area or kitchen.
811 N. Jefferson St., (414) 273-5397
Dining room with full digital hook-up is available at this funky Cathedral Square Park bar / restaurant.
Mo's A Place for Steaks (upstairs)
720 N. Plankinton Ave., (414) 272-0720
Perfect for client meetings, larger gatherings and presentations, Mo's upstairs rooms are easily reserved.
Mo's Irish Pub (upstairs)
142 W. Wisconsin Ave., (414) 272-0721
Perched at Wisconsin and Plankinton, Mo's Irish Pub has a great spot to rent out upstairs. A nice library, bar and plenty of tables make the Guinness taste even better.
Pandl's in Bayside
8825 N. Lake Dr., (414) 352-7300
Take a drive along Lake Drive, and you'll hit Pandl's. Banquet space for up to 250 and great views to boot.
Riverfront Pizzeria Bar and Grill
509 E. Erie St., (414) 277-1800
This bright, airy space on the Milwaukee River has a party room and a comfortable back area that can be "roped off." Great pizza and pastas too. Smoke-free, as well.
777 N. Water St., (414) 431-3106
Solid food in an eclectic setting make for an interesting mix.
714 N. Milwaukee St., (414) 224-7253
Upstairs from the contemporary Japanese and Korean restaurant Sake Tumi is the Kai Buddha Lounge. It's a nice space for a bigger bash. Call for details.
The Pump House
2001 S. 1st St., (414) 744-7008
Need an eclectic spot? Try The Pump House. This two story original pump house was gutted and remodeled to serve as a bar and restaurant along the Kinnickinnic River. The upstairs mezzanine overlooks the downstairs lounge and is a perfect location for a special event or company party.
Water Street Brewery
1101 N. Water St., (414) 272-1195
The Water Street Brewery space seems to keep going and going, and once you get to the back area, it's prime for a gathering of less than 50 people.
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Blue's Egg is only open until 2 p.m. and then available for completely private parties in the evening-- no room rental and plenty of menu options.
My husband and I just had our wedding ceremony & reception at Swig in the third ward. I can't say enough about how wonderful everything went. We worked with Joseph and he went above and beyond setting up the event and even on the day of the event to please our every needs. The food was amazing and I got so many compliments about the food and the venue.
Bryant's Cocktail Lounge has a second floor lounge that is a swanky place for private parties. The walls are covered in black velvet wallpaper.
My wife and I had our wedding reception at the Roots Cellar this summer. The food, as usual, for Roots was outstanding. The service was impeccable. Chef John Raymond runs a fantastic spot, the event planner was excellent. The food possibilities that are offered for an event are nearly endless. The room was beautifully decorated, with minimal input from the two of us. If you have an event for 60-70 people, you can not beat Roots. I highly recommend it.
Chez Jacques on South 1st Street. Had a party there with about 40-50 guests. They bent over backward to meet my needs, food and beverage was excellent, all the guests raved. They have a private party room and outdoor patio.
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